Paignton school refuses child lunch over a £1.75 debt

Food returns to the headlines today as a father of 2 children has pulled both of them out of a primary school in Paignton after one was refused lunch because the family owed £1.75.

Gary Lynn, who has also resigned as a governor at the school, accused the school of “physical and emotional neglect” reminiscent of Oliver Twist. He also accuses the school of ‘creating a policy which looks at using a child as a weapon in case any parent dares to default on a single day’s payment’.

He added, “When he was expecting to get served he was told he wouldn’t be allowed a meal. He burst into tears. He went to sit down and one of the mealtime assistants brought over an apple because she felt sorry for him. I was completely outraged. I hadn’t had any teacher come to tell me there was an issue. I found it horrific.”

The school has argued that they have contacted the parents on 3 separate occasions prior to the incident warning that this would happen. They claimed that the account wasn’t credited and it is within school rules that the child would be refused lunch until the account was credited.

Mr Lynn did hold his hands up and admit to forgetting to credit the account, but is disgusted at the course of action that the school took.

What do you think? Are the school right in their actions, or should the school be evaluating their practice?

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